Cuts Watch #148: Nanotechnology
It is “most unlikely” that the UK’s 24 regional nanotechnology centres will still exist in 18 months, according to science minister David Willetts. In an apparent break with the Coalition’s commitment to localism and de-centralisation he told MPs that “fewer, stronger centres” were the way forward.
The network of centres was established to increase UK industry’s ability to exploit nanotechnology. Mr Willetts said that he was keen to continue to promote ‘blue skies’ research, but that the ‘budget reductions’ were being investigated in consultation with the ‘learned societies’. This would be fed in to his negotiations with the Treasury about cuts.
(You can see a video of Mr. Willetts’ oral evidence to the Science and Technology Select Committee on their website, the most relevant section begins at 11:29:00.)